LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- New Albany officials say they're interested in the Louisville City Football Club building a stadium in southern Indiana. The team is currently playing at Louisville Slugger Field with a lease until 2019.
New Albany officials say the mayor met with Team Chairman John Neace and that team officials visited three sites in the area. Those locations haven't been announced.
On Wednesday, Neace, who is out of the country, issued the following statement:
“Louisville City FC’s board continues moving forward with development of a soccer-specific stadium in Louisville. While other markets around the region have expressed interest, construction of a venue in Louisville is our priority. We plan to be part of the city’s growth and feel that a stadium in its urban core is best for our fan base and the club’s continued success.”have expressed interest, construction of a venue in Louisville is our priority. We plan to be part of the city’s growth and feel that a stadium in its urban core is best for our fan base and the club’s continued success.”
Neace also spoke about the stadium plans in a podcast a couple weeks ago. He said, "We do have a couple of sites that we've narrowed down to. We are pursuing options on those sites. We're more than 50 percent of the way there on those, so I believe we'll narrow that fairly quickly now, and that'll be announced early in '17."
Neace stressed that the team needs to be in Louisville. The new stadium has to have at least 10,000 seats, but the team would like it to be expandable to 20,000 seats. Neace says he's working with Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Metro Council on possible sites.
Brent Ackerson (D-26), a Metro Councilman issued the following statement:
“We have neglected our infrastructure and roads for decades, and presently have 100’s of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance. We have an underfunded Affordable Housing Trust Fund. We have underfunded public safety; including being short staffed by over 100 active duty police officers for a city our size. We can’t pay for all the things that we presently need. As such, I cannot support public Metro dollars being used for the luxury of building a soccer stadium. The public at large, who is upset about the lack of public safety, the lack of affordable housing, or our deteriorating roads and infrastructure, should be upset with any discussion of diverting their tax dollars away from the needs we already cannot pay for in order to build a soccer stadium.”
"No site in Indiana is being considered or will be considered for a soccer stadium with Metro Government participation,” said Jeff Mosley, Deputy Chief of Louisville Forward.
A team spokesperson says going to southern Indiana would be more of a backup plan.
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